PhD Advanced COURSE Topical and transdermal delivery

Topical and transdermal drug delivery systems are designed to support the development of new and effective therapeutics. The human stratum corneum acting as a barrier for the permeation of active substances has limited the number of molecules commercially available as transcutaneous delivery systems. Several strategies have been employed over the past few decades to optimize drug delivery across the skin of several poorly permeable compounds. However, passive techniques present limited potential to facilitate the delivery of macromolecules. This drawback has given way to modification of more conventional formulations, as well as to the development of device-based physical enhancement techniques. Topical and transdermal delivery is therefore an area of research with many challenging objectives but also with great opportunities to work envisaging the patient compliance as it refers to a convenient painless non-invasive drug administration route.

Goals and Learning Outcomes

The course is intended to improve the understanding of topical and transdermal products, covering relevant aspects that determine the fate of drugs in the skin and through the skin, from their fundamentals to the advanced strategies to overcome the skin barrier, including innovative technological and therapeutic applications. It aims at explaining the principles underlying the drug skin permeation and penetration, the development of advanced drug delivery systems as well as pointing future trends in this field.

Students will be educated in comprehensive concepts needed to approach topical and transdermal drug delivery. They will have contact with relevant matters such as skin physiology, the physicochemical and biological determinants of passively and actively skin drug delivery. At the end of the course students should demonstrate integrated knowledge of the scientific principles that support the multidisciplinary field of topical and transdermal delivery in its different components.


The evaluation of the students attending the course consists in the preparation and submission of a 2-page long letter of intent for a research project. Students are grouped to build multidisciplinary teams. Each group works throughout the week on a research project that should reflect the topic of the course, including methodologies and strategies to solve a research question with both scientific and social impact. This project should propose a potential solution for a topical or transdermal problem using an advanced drug delivery approach or a skin permeation methodology-based approach. The project is expected to adhere to the following general structure: a) Title; b) Conceptual hurdle and innovative idea to be tested; c) Plan and methods: d) Relevance (scientific and social impact). Project evaluation will be made according to the following criteria: novelty and relevance (30%); clear description of the proposed approach (40%); interdisciplinarity of the research plan (30%).


Dates: 14-18 november, 2022

Online Course through Zoom Platform

> Programme: Topical and transdermal delivery

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator: Sandra Simões

Registration and Fees


The registration is through the FenixEdu Platform until November 3, 2022.

Registration Guide (Portuguese or English)

Tuition Fee:

  • Registration with evaluation: 125€
  • Registration without evaluation: 100€

This course is free for 1st year PhD students of FFUL Doctoral Program.